tv Weekends With Alex Witt MSNBC October 27, 2012 9:00am-11:00am PDT
the weathermen always get it wrong and we'll just hang out and not really pay attention to this. please don't, okay? we have to be prepared for the worst here. >> and the storm is impacting the presidential campaigns. both vice president joe biden and governor romney have canceled events scheduled in virginia beach. we have live coverage across the east coast for you. the weather channel's julie martin is live in north carolina. nbc's al roker and the weather channel stephanie abrams are in delaware. we begin with nbc meteorologist dylan dryer. dylan, we had this new advisory released just about an hour ago. what's the news in it? >> the news is there haven't been too many changes. it is still a hurricane one category at this time. but we are just noticing the track budges ever so slightly with the newer updates. now instead of a direct hit right near atlantic city, new jersey, instead now it is down into delaware. look at the watches and warnings all across the eastern seaboard. obviously most out over the water but included in that
northeastern south carolina, the east coast of north carolina, and eventually those will be extended up into virginia and new jersey as well. so winds are at 75 miles per hour, but notice the path of the storm still moving north-northeast at now 9 miles per hour. it still has to take this turn to the northwest which isn't expected until about monday. but look at the size of this storm. it's huge. and we are going to see this storm continue to affect areas all across the eastern seaboard pretty much at the same time. when we're talking about the effects of new york city and long island we're also talking about similar effects down across new jersey into maryland, into delaware and into washington, d.c. as well. so this is a massive storm, a category one hurricane. and just notice the outer rain bands starting to move into north carolina still affecting the beaches of south carolina. the surf is getting churned up. we are going to see beach erosion out of this system. and why is it going to turn to the northwest? it's following parallel to the east coast for now. but then monday night it is going to take that turn to the
northwest because it's sandwiched and moving in between this huge area of high pressure to the northeast and this stalled front to the west. it's going to school right through the two of those. and as it does so it's going to change form. that's why it's an unusual type of storm that we're talking about affecting new jersey and delaware and maryland. it's not so much a hurricane but it's almost like a post-tropical storm. still huge, still containing powerful winds. but instead of those winds being isolated right to the eye wall as we normally talk about we are seeing tropical storm force winds expecting about 450 miles out from the center of the storm. that's how huge this is. look at all those different computer models. a lot of squiggly lines there but they are all pretty much in agreement that somewhere from new york city down into southern new jersey so most likely new jersey is going to be the spot where we will get hit. look at those rain totals. we could see widespread amounts over 6 inches of rain. and what does that mean for us? that means coastal flooding because the storm surge. it means inland flooding because
of the massive amounts of rain. we're also going to see those strong winds at times gusting up near 80 miles per hour. but both before the height of the storm monday night into tuesday morning, during the day monday and during the day tuesday even into wednesday, winds will remain strong. and with all the leaves on the trees, downed trees will be the biggest concern creating power outages that could take days to restore that power. so that's going to be the huge concern especially monday into tuesday. alex? >> i tell you, i could not turn away. thank you for that. power-packed information we can all use. thank you so much, dylan dryer. dylan was mentioning in north carolina today tropical storm force winds are sending waves crashing into the shoreline. the residents say they're ready. >> today i'm just sort of protecting my home, and battening down the hatches. >> got a little generator. making sure the oil is clean, got water and flashlights and stuff. >> we came down to do some fishing. i guess the fish knows it's going to storm so they're hiding, too. so we're going to hide, too. >> weather channel meteorologist
julie martin is in nags head north carolina. julie, what's the latest? >> reporter: alex, we are seeing rain here in eastern north carolina and the winds are picking up as they will continue to do throughout the day even though this storm is still making its way toward the area. it won't be really until tonight into tomorrow morning before we see its full effects. nonetheless, the seas are also rough. if you take a look you can see those waves are anywhere from probably four to six feet. that old fishing pier still holding up. but by the way part of that blown away during hurricane isabelle back in 2003. so we're going to have to see just how well it holds up this time. residents here are pretty confident that this newly refurbished beach will hold back the water this time. still many of them are preparing sand bags just in case. coastal flooding will be a threat here, though. three to five foot water rise expected as well as tropical storm force conditions in the overnight hours. power outages a real possibility as well. so we'll continue to track that for you.
all of this, by the way, just a little taste of what the northeast will likely be getting by about sunday into monday. alex, back to you. >> all right. julie martin, thanks for that. coming up at the bottom of the hour, you see him there, the "today" show's al roker will be report, from delaware. ten days until the election and new today, paul ryan in the middle of a mad dash across the battle ground state of ohio. >> we have specific plans we're putting out there because we're asking you to support us so we can put this in place. we're not simply saying vote for us because the other guy's worse off. that's what they're running. >> congressman ryan's bus tour will visit five ohio cities today. mitt romney's in florida. will hold an event in pensacola later this hour. meanwhile the obama camp has released a new ad taking aim at mr. romney's economic plan. >> in here it's just you. no ads, no debates, just you. so think about this. mitt romney's plan rolls back
regulations on the banks that crashed our economy. medicare voucherized. >> president obama also talking about avoiding the fiscal cliff which would trigger tax hikes and spending cuts two short months from now. he says he wants to work with congressional republicans on it. >> i've said to folks, i'll go to capitol hill. i'll wash john boehner's car. i'll walk mitch mcconnell's dog. i'll do whatever is required to get this done. >> president obama heads to new hampshire a bit later today for a stop in nashua. vice president biden is scheduled to hold an event in lynch burg, virginia. now we go to ohio where nbc's ron mott is on that bus tour with paul ryan. hello to you ron again. where are you in the many stops on that bus tour today? >> reporter: hey there, alex. i've got to get my back stretched out. we've got five stops as you mentioned here today. three more tomorrow. eight in total. 400 plus miles over the next two
days with paul ryan. right now we're in janesville, ohio. just wrapping up a speech here. a lot of people are wondering why so much attention on ohio? this state may be the one that decides who wins this election. it's probably more important for governor romney than perhaps for the president because no republican candidate alex as you know has ever won the white house without winning here. so we expect to see the campaign tours between now and election day that governor romney or paul ryan campaigning in this state. 15 events and all. so they are laying all their cards down in ohio. 18 electoral votes are very important. one of the things they're having to sort of overcome here is whether governor romney is of a supporter of union workers. and the job of the car industry in particular. obviously president obama signed that auto bailout package. a lot of folks in ohio and some surrounding states are very appreciative of that. they believe they still have a job today because of that bailout. governor romney, on the other hand, was in favor of a managed
bankruptcy for g.m. and chrysler. and so he's got to somehow get voters to look past that, that he would be a supportive president of union workers in this state. as you mentioned, governor romney is down in florida today. we are expected after this bus tour to head down there as well. but right now the polls are looking in the president's favor. the latest cnn poll has the president up 50-46. there's still some work to be done here but we can tell you that the folks who are showing up for these republican events are very energized, they are very enthused about their ticket. and now as a matter of seeing, alex, who's got the better ground game. democrats or republicans. we'll know in ten days. >> we will certainly indeed. thank you so much ron mott. safe travels on the bus tour. next up we turn to nbc's kristin welker who's in new hampshire with the the president. hello to you, kristin. before we get to the president's campaign event there, is hurricane sandy affecting the white house plans at all? >> reporter: absolutely. it is affecting the white house plans. good afternoon to you, alex. president obama was supposed to
have a down day tomorrow and then head to florida on monday. but because of sandy he's going to travel tomorrow night to florida ahead of the campaign event in florida with former president bill clinton. i can tell you the vice president biden was supposed to have an event in virginia beach today. that has been canceled. so sandy already having an impact on the campaign's plans. of course, president obama has been monitoring hurricane sandy, had a conference call with fema director fred fugate on friday. he will continue to monitor sandy in the coming days. and alex, those are the changes that we know about so far. i would not be surprised if we have a number of changes on the horizon as both president obama and mitt romney monitor this storm and its effects. alex? >> well, the president, he was doing some interviews yesterday. he did a lot of them. and it's going from local market to local market that way. what's he saying? >> reporter: well, alex, a number of things that we've sort
of gleaned from these interviews that he did. he is reaching out to young voters, to women voters, to independents. one of his key messages, though, is for folks to get out and vote early. this is what he said to our colorado affiliate yesterday. take a listen. >> i've fought for middle class families in colorado and all across the country. that's the kind of president i think you want. and i'm looking forward to having the privilege to serving another four years. a lot of it's going to depend on colorado, so i hope everybody takes advantage of early vote in colorado. you guys are always ahead of the curve when it comes to voting. >> reporter: alex, of course colorado is a key battle ground state. but that is a key part of the obama campaign strategy, urging people to get out and vote early. so we are here in new hampshire, which is another key battle ground state. president obama will be speaking here a little bit later on this afternoon. he will be joined by music icon
james taylor. this is the president's sixth visit to new hampshire. doesn't have as many electoral votes as colorado. it only has four electoral votes. but those are four important electoral votes because this race is so razor tight, alex. president obama won this state in 2008 and hasn't seen some of the same effects of the economic downturn as other states in fact the unemployment rate here is at 5.7%. it's far below the national average. but of course mitt romney has a home in this state. he was governor of neighboring massachusetts. so he carries a lot of weight here in this state as well. i expect from president obama takes the podium later on this afternoon you will hear him continue his message to middle class voters trying to make the case that he is the candidate to best preserve the interests of middle class voters and also to sort of reiterate what you heard in that commercial that you ran a little bit earlier on which is that mitt romney has sort of shifted some of his opinions, moved further to the middle to try and shore up votes. that's one of president obama's key messages right now.
alex, i can tell you this race here in new hampshire is essentially in a deadlock with the president holding onto a narrow lead. >> i'll tell you whether it's four electoral votes there in new hampshire or nine in colorado feels like a battle for every single one out there right now. kristen welker, thank you so much. enjoy james taylor, i might add. also ahead, more on the impact hurricane sandy could have on the election. coming up in strategy talk, the comments made by one romney team surrogate still reverberating. what's behind his remarks. and it's not the first time he said something outrageous. a bit later, the news room edition of office politics. i talk with several of my colleague about the what if scenarios for november 7th, the day after the election. keep it here. you're watching "weekends with alex witt."
t minus 10 days to election day. new poll numbers show president obama with an early voting advantage in the battle ground state of ohio. but will it hold? joining me now washington bureau chief for "usa today" susan page and white house editor for politico rachel smolken. good to have you here. susan i'll begin with you. before i get to the ohio poll can i just ask you for your big picture perspective? given your coverage of politics over the years -- >> i'm sorry. i've lost audio so maybe you should go to race well a question. >> oh, thank you for that. we'll get that fixed up as soon as we can. rachel i'm going to ask you broadly speaking, are there any signals being given by either camp that suggests concern on
either front as this race appears to be tightening? >> both campaigns are in full spin mode projecting absolute confidence moving ahead. we're really seeing the momentum wars at work here. the narrative from the romney campaign that they've got the wind behind them at their backs. they're going to push forward. the president obama peaked too early and they're picking up steam heading into the finish line. the obama campaign pushing back against that very hard, noting a growing pile of evidence that romney's momentum if he had it and the obama campaign would argue with that has stabilized, that president obama seems to be about where he was before that first debate that really changed up the race. the obama campaign focusing very hard on their ground game, getting out those early voters to the polls. we saw video of president obama doing just that last week. and for them it's always been a state by state race. this idea of momentum versus the cold reality of the electoral
map. >> okay. i understand that susan's back plugged in with us. susan i was asking about your sort of big picture perspective given how much you've covered politics. any parallels to draw from previous elections? where do you think we stand right now? what's your sense of it? >> my ninth election this feels like one of the closest ever. feels really like 2000. because as i just heard rachel saying, the president was in pretty good shape before that first debate that has really changed since then the momentum since then has been on romney's side. what that means is in these last ten days things like that final jobs report next friday or hurricane sandy, these could make enough difference to tilt an election that is so close so soon before election day. >> well, susan, when you say it feels like 2000, does that extend to the possibility of what was reported in the "washington post" today this electoral college versus popular vote split where it could be in reverse?
they're suggesting president obama could take the electoral vote and mitt romney could get the popular vote. do you see that? is that the feel when you say 2000? >> it is, alex. i think if the election were today, president obama would win the electoral college and mitt romney would win the popular vote. now, a week from now that maybe different. but i think that is the situation now judging from the national and state-wide polls. think of the consequences to that. >> oh, wow. >> i mean, obviously president obama would be the person being sworn in but republicans would also be able to claim that their ideas have wouldn't mandate from voters. and think about the fist cav cliff negotiations that we'd be seeing in november-december. they're going to be difficult in any case. i just can't imagine what impact this would have on those negotiations. >> rachel, expand on that a bit. what happens with the fiscal cliff if this is the scenario that we have here? i mean, who works with whom effectively? and what's the incentive to do so? >> that's right. we've already seen a hyperpartisan atmosphere in washington. we just heard president obama saying i'll walk the dog or wash
the car. >> even though mitch mcconnell doesn't have a dog by the way. that's okay. we get the idea. >> so already hyperpartisan atmosphere in washington is just going to get even crazier if this is the scenario. so it's really going to put even more pressure, even more questions. it's hard to imagine there'll be any kind of major settlement. maybe we'll see the favorite kind of gamut of kicking that can down the the road. that's all the more likely if that is the outcome of the election. >> let's get back with ohio right now with you, susan, as we look at some interesting poll numbers there from the buckeye state. first the overall poll from cnn-orc shows the president still ahead by about four points. what are the president's campaign advisers saying about that? is that too close to comfort? or do they feel, all right, we're kind of confident? >> you know, again if you look at the numbers before that first debate the president was ahead by seven to ten points in ohio. ohio is just about to move to a lean democratic state. that was up ended by is that disastrous first debate for the
president. up four points in the cnn poll. this new arg poll, another nonprofit telephone poll has him up only two points. this is i think the florida of 2012 in that mitt romney can win florida. he can win virginia. but he really must win ohio to have a really credible path to 270 votes. that's why you see both these campaigns sending their top contenders, sending the president and the republican nominee to ohio and back again over and over. >> yeah. rachel, i want to talk with you about early voting versus election day voting in that state. this ohio poll shows the president winning about over 6 in 10 early voters but losing election day voters, 51 to 44% to mitt romney. and the romney campaign is saying the president has peaked too soon. what do you get the sense from the ground read there? >> i agree with susan. ohio is the all-important state of this election. you're really seeing the obama people talking up early voting. you hear president obama talk about it again and again.
you saw michelle obama voting early. they feel pretty good about their ohio numbers. certainly this is a razor thin race. but for all the talk of the romney momentum, you're not seeing a lot of polls that flip to his advantage in ohio. and women voters, for example, we've seen that nationally really close, that edge that president obama had all year with women voters after the first debate, national polls show that receding or even slipping away entirely. however, in ohio it has remained a pretty strong edge for president obama. his advisers told politico yesterday double-digit edge in ohio and some other battle ground states. so they feel good about those numbers. they're emphasizing how many more field offices they have out in ohio, mitt romney using that as an argument to say they're really target particular precincts. they can be on the ground in particular neighborhoods. both getting out their voters, voters who have voted in the
past, attracting new voters, and hopefully for them whipping some of those undecided voters, there aren't that many out there left but there are a few. >> ladies, thank you both for weighing in. susan i'm glad we got your ear back in. we needed that. thank you both. so rid el me. this what do richard nixon, bill clinton and ronald reagan all have in common with a state that's up for grabs this election? the answer in just a few minutes. more dishwasher brands in north america
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california third. the united states ranks only 22nd in a new ranking of best countries for workplace equality. equal pay is among several factors considered by the world economic forum study. the top three, iceland, finland and norway. this place is pretty cool. >> pretty cool. >> we're here under false pretenses. >> what are you talking about? >> well, the slight being setting for "national anthem's last resort. the cayman islands has come out first in new hsbc ranking of the friendliest countries. the survey is based on how ex-pats feel when they're living there. australia second, canada third and the u.s. ranks sixth. this is not so friendly. jets quarterback tim tebow, you've heard of him, right? in the new "sports illustrated" survey of nfl players, tebow is named the most overrated player in the league. ouch. and finally the late elizabeth taylor is topping forbes's new
list of top earning dead celebrities. comments from a christie's auction of her prized possessions. michael jackson comes in second with 145 million. elvis presley the king brought in about a third of that to rank third. peanuts cartoonist charles shulz with 37 million and reggae legend bob marley. ♪ ♪
♪ ...and copays as low as one dollar... ♪ ...saving on your medicare prescriptions is easy. ♪ so you're free to focus on the things that really matter. call humana at 1-800-808-4003. or go to walmart.com for details. welcome back. just past the half hour we are tracking hurricane sandy. the storm is leaving behind a tattered bahamas. strong winds, large waves and storm surge battered islands across the caribbean. at least 43 people died there. but experts here in the u.s. worry the storm's damage could top $1 billion. we're going to get right now to nbc meteorologist dylan dryer with the very latest on the storm. once again hello to you. where is it? >> alex, right now the storm is still really far away.
it's just so huge that that's why we're seeing the rain already feekting areas through the south carolina beaches into the north carolina beaches as well. it is still a category one hurricane. don't be surprised if you hear it get downgraded back down to a tropical storm. it will most likely restrengthen into the category one hurricane. even if it loses its tropical characteristics by the time it makes landfall somewhere near southern new jersey, it is still going to be a powerful storm. we are looking at tropical storm-force winds extending 450 miles out from the center of this storm. look at how huge it is. the clouds are expanding from basically southern new jersey right now all the way down into central florida. so this is a huge storm and it is still a hurricane. and look at the rain moving into the carolinas. we also have wind gusts right now anywhere from about 25 to 35 miles per hour along the coast. you see the dark shades of green, the yellows there? that's your heaviest rain. so the rain that's moving into the carolinas right now is
moderate but not as heavy as if the storm were a little bit closer to land. but the storm is still very far out to sea. in fact, it's still about 340 miles to the northeast of miami. so very far away. and it travels along the coastline parallel to the coastline of the carolinas for another several hours. look at monday, though, at 8:00 a.m. it starts to take that turn to the north. then it shoots to the northwest. that's when it's going to make landfall somewhere near new jersey, maryland, delaware, that whole area a little bit closer here you can see is in that cone of uncertainty. even as we narrow down the track of the storm, no matter where it hits it's not like we're looking at that direct eye wall of a hurricane to move onshore. because the storm is so huge. so we are going to see effects from basically long island all the way down to maryland and washington, d.c. and even virginia at the same time. we are looking about 8 to 10 interof rain out of this storm and a widespread swath of land through the mid-atlantic. we're also looking for inland flooding along with coastal
flooding because of the storm surge around 4 to 5 feet. that's going to erode the beaches and even inland towns just because of the amount of water that's coming down. the ground is going to get very soft. combine that with the leaves on the trees and wind gusts up near 80 miles per hour, power outages is going to be a huge concern especially as we go into the end of this week as well. alex? >> i know that is to be expected. dylan, thank you so much. you mentioned. let's go now to that area within the storm's projected path. rohobeth beach in particular. to al roker. >> it's now hurricane sandy. and this may end up being one for the record books. the reason for that is that it's a sprawling storm. we're talking about just tropical force wind extended out 450 miles from the center of the system. as it makes its way up the to t paralleling the coast we'll see this trough and jet stream doing what we call a negative tilt. that's going to pull sandy to the left and bring it onshore.
where on shore? right now the models seem to agree anywhere from norfolk, virginia, the melvara peninsula up. from washington, d.c. up to boston. we're talking millions of people affected by this storm. not only will it cause probably massive power outages, a lot of coastal flooding, power outages due to trees going down, but once it gets inland it's going to have a major impact as well. just like tropical storm irene did last year. the difference is, this is drawing in a lot of cold air from canada. it could produce up to a foot of snow in parts of west virginia, ohio, and pennsylvania. so we're talking about not only a tropical system with tons of rain and flooding and massive power outages but snow as well. the effects of this could be felt for weeks. >> okay, al roker, many thanks for that. our colleagues at the
weather channel are following this storm closely as well. we're going have a live report from meteorologist julie martin coming your way at the top of the hour. from there to politics now, ten days to go until the election. today in his weekly address president obama's emphasizing the progress made four years after the wall street crisis. >> our businesses have added more than 5 million new jobs. the unemployment rate has fallen to the lowest level since i took office. home values are ride rising again and our assembly lines are humming once more. >> mitt romney and paul ryan are looking to gain momentum holding a rally last night in canton. >> i want small businesses to succeed. the people of america are going to know this. that unlike the current administration, i like business because i like jobs that business creates. >> well, today mitt romney's campaigning in florida. president obama's campaigning in new hampshire. tonight the des moines register will announce its endorcement in the presidential race. the last republican to earn a register endorcement was richard
nixon in 1972. our colleague richard lui is joining us now. both side have been spending a lot of time and money here, right? >> oh, yes, alex. good morning to you. if time and money talks both campaigns are screaming in iowa. in five months they visited 50 times. president obama 15, governor romney 12. the catholic veep candidates truck there as well 20 times. that's a nod to the state's catholic swing vote. cash flows freely here as well. ad spending is the second highest in the country. $22 per person. florida and ohio with up to five times more electoral votes have as little as half that amount per person. now, the more they've invested the tighter the race has gotten. last month the real clear average had them virtually tied. now the president is up by two points and trending flat or declining wild romney is on a steady rise. if the polls aren't so clear there, early voting offers a bit of a hint. as of monday it equals almost 20% of estimated turnout and
favors democrats two to one. but some watchers say it's election day swing votes that make the difference. and it's swing voters in these 21 swing counties that hold the keys. sprinkled across the state, iowa has 20% of all swing counties nation-wide. the state has long been pivotal. richard nixon traveled there as vice president when running for the white house. he won the state. as did ronald reagan. iowa was close to the beginngip well. he broadcast for university of iowa football this time 30s. bill clinton was the last democrat iowa picked up before obama. in the 90s he could be found sharing his home state's common rural roots on campaign stops. this year is no difference here, alex. campaigns have an eye on iowa, a state that's picked seven of the last ten presidents of the united states. >> so that is the common thread between those three we were talking about. richard nixon, ronald reagan, bill clinton. it's all about iowa. thank you for breaking it down.
office politics. what if mitt romney gets elected? from chris janzen to chris matthews i'm going to talk to some of my msnbc colleagues about what it could mean right here on "weekends with alex witt." mike rowe here at a ford tell me fiona, who's having a big tire event? your ford dealer. who has 11 major brands to choose from? your ford dealer. who's offering a rebate? your ford dealer. who has the low price tire guarantee... affording peace of mind to anyone who might be in the market for a new set of tires? your ford dealer. i'm beginning to sense a pattern. buy four select tires, get a $60 rebate. use the ford service credit credit card, get $60 more. that's up to $120. where did you get that sweater vest? your ford dealer.
take your blindfolds off. oh! look at all this garbage! febreze car. eliminates odors for continuous freshness, so you can breathe happy. have you tried this yet? save on febreze car and other innovative products with the october 28th p&g brandsaver. welcome back. a live look at the radar, this storm is chugging north right towards the east coast. the storm is expected to combine with a cold front and possibly historical system. we're hearing that all the time. we'll have live reports at the top of the hour. stay with us for those important updates. it is time now for today's strategy talk. joining me democratic strategist karen finny, former dnc communications director and msnbc political analyst. karen, usually you would be combatting with someone. >> yes. >> in this case it was supposed to be republican strategist rick
tyler. >> he's scared. >> i think that's true. i think he was going up against you. we should say he's in st. louis and he didn't factor in the time difference so he's like an hour behind. so what are you going to do? so we're going to get it all from you. here it is. >> just you and me, alex. >> that's it. it's all right. with mitt romney and paul ryan, have they really doubled down on ohio? did you think that campaign thinks it can't win without that state given the historical perspective? >> i do think that. i also believe that i think at one point they didn't think they had a good shot in ohio and were looking at other pathways to 270. look, governor romney got a little bit of a bounce after that first debate. and they've been just kind of working it very hard since then. although i think they've got some trouble in some other places. at this point their campaign said they at this point had north carolina locked up. we know from the polls it's even. so that's all the more reason that they've really got to keep fighting in ohio, although as i think you mentioned in the last
segment, president obama is up in ohio. >> yes. he is right now. but karen, you got to admit a lot of the recent polls show the president losing ground in some key states. what are you hearing about the strategy inside the campaign going forward the last ten days now? >> i can tell you both campaigns at this point -- because in modern campaigns we do -- it's very sophisticated. both campaigns know exactly where the voters are that they need to turn out and if there are voters who are left to be persuade where those voters are. that's where the focus is on. obviously president obama's campaign put a lot into ground game and early voting. and i think the thing that's important to note about that is, that universe of voters is actually different than people who actually vote on election day. the people who vote in early voting are what we call sporadic voters. they might have voted on election day. they might not have. so they put a lot into that. we're going to keep putting a lot into that. i think both campaigns trying to make a big push both for early voting and then really just turning out on election day.
they're both looking at the maps and trying to figure out where the votes are that they need to get. >> let's take a listen to something that went down from romney campaign cochair john sununu an interview on thursday. >> when you take a look at colin powell you have to wonder whether that's an endorcement based on issues or whether he's got a slightly different reason for preferring president obama. >> what reason would that be? >> well, i think when you have somebody of your own race that you're proud of being president of the united states, i applaud colin for standing with him. >> okay. now, john sununu tried to walk that comment back a bit. but when you look at the transcript, karen, it tells you his explanation has nothing to do with what he said. john sununu is the same surrogate who called president obama lazy after the first debate in terms of his prep and all that. he wished the president of the united states would learn to be an american. what do you think the romney team's calculation here as they keep trotting him out?
>> i think they keep trotting him out knowing he is likely to say that. while the majority of us are appalled by that commentary, there are a faction of people who probably agree with that sununu said. i think if you really were appalled by what he said you wouldn't keep putting him out. i found part of what i found so upsetting is that here he was trying to frankly distract from what was a very serious important substantive endorcement. i mean, general colin powell is an american hero, former secretary of state, chairman of the joint chiefs of staff. has served this country, fought in vietnam. part of the original gulf war. this is someone who frankly when he says i've looked at mitt romney's foreign policy and i think it's spore addic that really matters. i see this as an opportunity for the romney campaign to try to distract from what is a very serious endorcement from general powell. >> let's get to another topic here, karen. an article in the "washington post." it's a new one that argues there is a high likelihood president obama could win the electoral vote but not the popular vote,
which would be a first for an incumbent. could we survive the hyperpartisanship that that scenario would likely cause? >> i don't know, alex. i mean, i really hope that doesn't happen for so many reasons. i think it would be terrible for the country for so many reasons. we've already become so partisan. i'm actually have to tell you they was skeptical of some of the modelling that we've seen going on. i think a lot of the polls and a lot of the modelling has underestimated the number of latinos and african-american voters. we have 8 million more latino voters, for example, voting in 2012 than we did in 2008. most of the polling models i've seen don't account for those kinds of democrgraphic changes. that's a reason no matter republican, democrat, no matter who you are, get out and vote. vote early if you can. if you can't make sure you get to the polls early on election day. that's the way this thing is going to get settled. >> okay, karen finny, always
good to talk with you. here's what we've been asking all of you all day. it comes on the heels of what i was discussing with karen. the popular vote versus the electoral vote. could it be a split election? here's what you had to say about it. rich mow net replies "can't help but think that high turnout in battle ground states may make popular vote versus electoral vote possible. advantage president. melvin tweets "unfortunately it could be. i also believe that indiana will go pbo again. one of these days indiana is going to matter." jim b writes "a popular electoral vote split would be sweet payback for 2000". clarks future says i can't believe you can win the election with as little as 22% of the popular vote. we need to update the electoral college. that is something a lot of people are talking about. you can keep sending your tweets to me @alexwit. it's all about colorado. what changed recently with voters and why is this state so
critical? we'll get to that. i've been coloring liz's hair for years. but lately she's been coming in with less gray than usual. what's she up to? [ female announcer ] root touch-up by nice'n easy has the most shade choices, designed to match even salon color in just 10 minutes. with root touch-up, all they see is you.
in today's office politics i took a tour through the msnbc news room to ask my colleagues questions about the election. in this episode i asked what if the headlines the day after the election read president elect romney? >> if we wake up and we see romney is the winner, the democrats are going to have to make a decision. are they going to work with him or are they going to follow the same template that the republicans did and throw up a bunch of filibusters in the senate? because there will be a radical agenda. and i think it will be a very intense time in american history. >> but a guy like you, we all know where you stand on the issues. >> sure. >> what do you want to see then if those are the two options?
working with them or throwing up road blocks? >> i don't know. it depends on how strong the democrats are going to be. i mean, if the democrats end up putting the big three on the table, and if they inch towards any kind of privatization or major cuts in medicare, medicaid and social security, i think that you're going to see a real possibility of a third party coming from the left in this country. >> in the small sense it changes how barack obama is viewed. because if he's re-elected, his historic presidency is elevated. but the immediate thing that comes to mind, whatever the headline is, is what does it mean for health care. because there's been no doubt that that's been a critical point of this campaign. what happens on day one? mitt romney has said i will repeal obama care. that's the first thing that comes to my mind. >> i think if it's a president elect romney that means that the
senate has gone republican, too. i think that the house obviously stays republican. i think there's a raft of legislation that they will be very aggressive in pursuing. i think it's a very different america 2013 and beyond. i think a lot of people have questions about how mitt romney, moderate mitt that we're seeing now deals with a really rest tiff house caucuses and what will be an energized tea party base. >> i believe it we wake up that day and it is president elect romney, i think the message that a businessman can help speed up our recovery resonated. if he does not wake up president elect and it goes the other way, i think people in the polls reflect this, believe that things are getting better and perhaps they want to give the current president more time to make that happen. >> what about if the headline wednesday morning, november 7th reads, president elect romney? how does that change things? >> we don't know yet. first of all in all fairness we
don't know which romney. will it be the romney of the primaries hawkish as hell, tough on women's issues or the guy the moderate from massachusetts who comes into office as if he'd just come from boston? we don't know which one? my hunch is he's going to have a hard time breaking loose from all the commitments he's made. whether governor quist or dan ceno in the religion os cons or the religious right willen watching him like a hawk. all watching from above to make sure he doesn't move from the commitments he's made personally. you got to think there's a danger of him being a completely right wing president. >> i protect my weekends. i still do all the recreational things i love to do. fishing and hunting and we've done a lot of bird hunting this fall. so i get back to the midwest on the weekends. >> you know, other than honey boo boo child? >> honey boo boo.
>> hey, i'm just keeping it real. of course, i talk to my mother 300 times a day. she's in texas. and i have to -- we have a rule in place. because i get off air and she instantly want to talk about the show. what this guest said, what that guest said. i have to say, i'm calling my mother. i am not calling karen finney, the pundit. i'm calling my mom. i am not -- i say to her listen, how's your day going? because literally my mother will wake up early in the morning. she turns on television. she starts to read her newspaper. she has her opinion about the events of the day regarding this election. and i can't take it. i just have to say, good morning, mom. okay, mom, it's not just me, all right? i mean, seriously. >> i can't take it. >> can you say hi, daughter? say hi to her, mom? see? i want to put my mom and your mom together. >> that's the answer right there. cameron's mom and my mom, you
guys can talk. this time tomorrow we're going to find out what issues our anchors think the president should tackle the first day after inauguration day. battle ground colorado. why this election could all come down to the rocky mountain state. stay with us. you're watching "weekends with alex witt." where others fail, droid powers through. introducing the new droid razr maxx hd by motorola. now more than ever droid does.
top of the hour in florida republican senator marco rubio. the governor will be taking the stage shortly to fire up the crowd. expect about 11,000 people there. we'll be monitoring all the information from the control booth and more information. good day to all of you. welcome to "weekends with alex witt." first up breaking news as we are tracking hurricane san ditch. the east coast is on alert as the storm barrels closer. right now rain and waves, they are crashing into the north carolina coast. sandy is expected to combine
with a cold front and evolve into an unusual and possibly historic system. the president just a short while ago consulted with federal emergency officials. mr. obama spoke with homeland security secretary janet napolitano and fema administrator craig fugate among others. they promise to bring all available resources to the hardest-hit areas prepositioning many right now. local governments are getting ready as well. seven states as well as d.c. have now declared states of emergency. the latest being connecticut. mandatory evacuations are now planned in both new york and new jersey. we're keeping an very close watch as well on the airports for you. at this point there are no major delays to report. but major problems are definitely possible in the coming days. all the major airlines are waiving fees for any passengers who want to reschedule their flights to the affected areas along the eastern seaboard. it is a big area. we have a team of correspondents deployed along the east coast including nbc's al roker and the weather channel stephanie abrams
in delaware. colleagues jim can torre and mike sidell are in new york city and new jersey. they will all be joining us throughout our coverage today. we begin here in studio with nbc meteorologist dylan dreyer. what's the latest on this storm, dylan? >> alex, it is still a category one hurricane. it's going to fluctuate between a category one and tropical storm, back over to a category one most likely. then it takes on a whole different characteristic as it approaches the shoreline of what looks like new jersey. that's where it is expected to make landfall somewhere in the new jersey area or the del marva area. either way this is a massive storm. we're not tracking it like a hurricane in that the eye wall is going tonight area hardest hit. the whole storm is massive. we have tropical storm force winds extending 450 miles out from the center of the storm. right now sustained winds with the storm are 75 miles per hour. but it is still very far away. 340 miles almost to the
northeast of miami. so look at how huge it is. and it is bringing those rain bands along shore through north carolina and through south carolina. northeastern north carolina and southeastern virginia will be almost a pivot point that will just be stuck in rain for days. and we could end up in that area with about 10 to perhaps even 12 inches of rainfall. it's not that heavy right now. winds are strong, around 30 to 35 miles per hour, but if the storm was closer to shore, all of those conditions would be much worse. and this storm really doesn't get closer to shore until monday. monday night especially. that's when it starts to take this turn to the north. it's actually going to slide in between that cold front alex mentioned and this area of high pressure to our northeast. it's going to shoot to the west. that's what makes this unusual. and then it will lose its tropical characteristics and you're going to hear all sorts of phrases like post tropical cyclone or just a regular cyclone. you can name it whatever you want but it is going to be a
huge storm. and you could see that cone of uncertainty in yellow there. it could hit anywhere from new york city down to even eastern virginia. but it does look like somewhere in the new jersey area would be the bull's eye for kind of the center of the storm. most models are in agreement on that. what does this mean? the worst conditions for the mid-atlantic region, that's maryland, delaware through washington, d.c., into new jersey, even up into new york city, all kind of at the same time. because the storm is so huge. monday evening into tuesday morning that's the brunt of the storm. that's when we're going to see wind gusts up to about 80 miles per hour. sustained wind up to around 40 to 60 miles per hour. on either side of that time frame we're still going to be talking about sustained winds up near 40 miles per hour. so all day monday is miserable. all day tuesday and even into wednesday will be pretty nasty. rainfall will be around 4 to 8 inches with isolated higher amounts closer to about a foot or more. some areas suck in those spots that get the heaviest rain could end up with 15 inches of rain.
so inland flooding is going to be a big issue. so coastal areas not only need to be concerned but inland areas as well. we could see a storm surge up to about 4 to 5 feet. the storm surge with isaac, just for reference, was three to four feet. we will see coastal flooding and beach erosion. then of course on top of that with the winds and soggy ground, power outages because of downed trees. those could last all the bay into next week perhaps depending on how quickly all those power outages get resolved. >> it is a lot to take in for a pretty big part of the eastern seaboard, thank you, dylan for that. the weather channel's julie martin will be joining us just a few minutes from now live in north carolina. in the meantime you can get the very latest on the storm at any time and see how it could affect the presidential race as well. they've got that hooked up for you on weather.com. let's go to front page politics and hurricane sandy and how it is affecting the presidential campaigns. today both mitt romney and vice president biden canceled events in virginia beach, virginia. instead mitt romney is
campaigning today in florida. he's attending an event right now in pensacola. there you see a live look again. meanwhile gop vice presidential nominee paul ryan is taking his bus tour throughout ohio today with scheduled stops in five sfissf cities across the buckeye state. >> if you don't have a record to paint on you paint your opponent as someone you should run from. you make a big election about small things. you know what said that? >> obama. >> yeah. obama when he ran for president in 2008 was saying. >> vice president biden heading to lunchburg, virginia a bill later today. first he spoke to voters in wisconsin last night attacking mitt romney and paul ryan's record on women. >> they've made it very clear, very clear from the outset. they do not think a woman has a right to control her own body. that's a public policy issue as far as they're concerned. [ audience boos ] >> no. as the president says i don't need your boos but i do need
your votes. >> president obama is spending some time in the northeast this afternoon. he'll be attending a rally a bit later today in the next hour in nashua, new hampshire. right now the latest gallup poll shows mitt romney with a 5-point lead nationally over the president. there you see the numbers. obama 51 to 46%. new today the senate rate in missouri is tightening. a new post dispatch mason dixon poll shows senator claire mccaskill with a two point lead over represent todd akin. hello to the two of you. as always good to have you. >> hi, alex. >> molly, so your latest article is about mitt romney's big economic speech there in iowa. and it happened on friday. it is titled "romney's major economic speech that wasn't." so why wasn't it? what was the point? >> well, you just didn't hear anything really new in this speech. i think the point of it was just
to have that headline in various places saying mitt romney gives a speech about the economy. the idea from their campaign is that if voters get this impression that he's all about the economy and if voters are primarily thinking about the economy, then that's when they win. especially among women, which are the biggest sort of up in the air group still. there's a lot of fluidity in the women's vote. a lot of women moved to mitt romney after that first debate and are still sort of up in the air. the democrats' belief is that if those women are thinking about women's issues, reproductive rights, abortion, then they will choose obama. but if what's on the top of their minds is the economy they may well lean toward romney instead. >> perry, we always hear that president obama's path to 270 is clearer than mitt romney's. what are the insiders saying from the obama campaign? are they still that confident? are there any states they're backing off of as being in their column? >> i talked to someone who works in the campaign yesterday.
he said it was all about ohio. they feel very confident about ohio. they see the early vote numbers where they have a big lead and they think they have a big advantage there. the state they're struggling a little bit is north carolina. if you look at the polls there it appears mitt romney will carry the state. none of the states are off the board. nine states elections close in all the places. ohio, florida, new hampshire, colorado. you note whole list. you'll see the candidates in those places very much in the next two weeks. >> okay. there is a new "washington post" report, perry, that says -- considering a new cut which could change the payroll tax at the end of the year. >> this is not a campaign story. this is about what happens later. obama is really talking about what he's already done and other policies in terms of the campaign. this is an idea, the payroll tax cut is due to expire. this is a cut that has been very useful to economic growth. they've been looking for awhile for new ways to make sure taxes
remain low because that helps the americans spend money and helps the economy to grow. >> sit tight for just a minute because mitt romney has taken to the stage there at pensacola at the civic center. let's listen to what he's saying. >> silly word games and attacks on me. look, attacking me is not an agenda for the future. that's why we're replacing -- [ cheers ] >> you know, his presidency also shrunk from the promises he made as a candidate. he promised that his would be a post-partisan presidency. but we've watched him over these last four years. he's been divisive and demonized almost any group that opposed him. he also promised that he would cut the deficit in half. instead he doubled it. and you know, i know he says he wants to do something to help the budget. but i've learned that in order to balance the budget it starts -- it helps to have actually had a budget. to start with a budget.
[ cheers ] >> you can't balance a budget unless you start with one. and he actually -- he actually put out a proposal this last year for the house and the senate to look at. now, there are 535 members of the house and senate combined. do you know how many people voted for his budget? zero. no one voted for his budget. paul ryan and i are going to get america on track to have a balanced budget. [ cheers ] >> he took on during his campaign another big promise. he said he would save medicare. he'd preserve it and protect it and save it from pending insolvency. what did he do instead? he cut medicare by $716 billion. [ audience boos ] >> he said he was going to have unemployment today down to 5.4%. we're 9 million jobs short of that.
and he has no plan to get this economy going again to put americans to work. you notice there are some numbers he doesn't speak about. he doesn't use the number 47. that happens to be how many million people are on food stamps today. 15 million more than when he took office. he doesn't use the number 23 million. that's the number of people who are struggling to find a good job in this country. the president doesn't have a plan. he's out of ideas. he's out of excuses. and this november florida's going to make sure we put him out of office. [ cheers ] >> and there you see mitt romney. he's there in pensacola campaigning in a state that has been a battle ground for quite some time. the latest edge, some people are putting it in the lean romney column so it looks like a very friendly crowd there of about 11,000. we'll keep listening to him and bring you more as warranted. back to you, molly, though with this first question. talk about the balance of power in the senate.
right now the senate, it's so close. 51 democrats, two independents who caucuses with the demes along with the 47 republicans. 33 seats are up this election cycle. 21 dems, 12 republicans. read the landscape on that right now. how do you think it's going to battle out? >> well, i think the democrats still have a very slight edge to keep control of the senate. but there are a really shocking number of seats that are still too close to call. i think you can say virginia, nevada, montana, north carolina, maybe even wisconsin. we really have no idea. and then of course with richard murdoch's controversial comments about rape, the indiana senate race came back on the board that probably was a very strong republican advantage before the race in missouri another red state where claire mccaskill seems to have an advantage over todd akin. >> a couple of points. >> depending on which poll you read, her campaign release add poll that shows her having a
bigger lead over him today. massachusetts elizabeth warren seems to have a slight advantage but that's still very competitive. then you have the swing states that have senate campaigns. ohio and florida, democrats seem to have advantages there as well. but pennsylvania and connecticut two pretty strong blue states look like they're really competitive as well. i think whoever takes control of the senate it's safe to say no one's going to have 60 votes so going to have to work together no matter what. you have to give a slight edge to the democrats but they're defending ten more seats than the republicans are. >> perry, with regard to each party kind of weighing in on their level of confidence in the senate races, how do you read what they're saying? >> the democrats are more confident as molly laid out they have good reason to be. the races to watch i think will be virginia is a really important one because of romney may actually win virginia if you look at the current polls. it will be challenging for the democratic candidate tim kaine
to win the state senate race if romney wins the presidential race. indiana we didn't think would be on the map at all. murdoch's comments have turned that race from a republican-winning race to basically a tie. if democrats can win the indiana senate race that would be a big boon for them. >> perry bacon jr., molly ball, thank you guys for waiting through the live event we took with mitt romney, appreciate it. in just a moment we'll take you back to north carolina. that's where the effects of hurricane sandy are already being felt. ahead we'll give you a look at two key battle ground states with the nation in suspense on election night you're watching "weekends with alex witt." [ male announcer ] take dayquil... [ ding! ] ...and spend time on the slopes. take alka-seltzer plus cold & cough... [ buzz! ] ...and spend time on the chair. for non-drowsy 6-symptom cold & flu relief.
19past the hour with break news. as the east coast is keeping an very close eye on hurricane sandy, that storm's strong winds and waves already hitting the shoreline. it is expected -- brand-new video from new jersey where crews have been pulling boats from tma rina there since dawn. let's go right to maximum head, north carolina now where the weather channel julie martin is standing by with us. julie are you feeling the tropical storm force winds yet? julie? i'm sorry. i think we may have lost something. that can happen with all the conditions there. we may have lost that signal. we're going to get back to julie. we're going to take a very short break right now. see if we can hook back up and take you live to north carolina. still ahead though as we're saying, threatening to be one of
the worst east coast storms in generation. another study how could that affect the presidential election? back to the future how the campaigns are gearing up for another possible replay of the year 2000. watching "weekends with alex witt." remember chads? like a bad nightmare, right? then it happened. every boy's dream. i got called up to the big leagues. i was finally a man... on my way to shaving, driving and staying up past midnight. [ whoosh ] [ whoosh ] [ whoosh ] being an adult is overrated. [ male announcer ] holidays aren't the same without the real cream of reddi-wip. the sound of reddi-wip [ whoosh ] is the sound of joy.
we got things straighted out. we're taking you right now to nags head, north carolina where julie martin is standing by for us. looks like the grasses there are blowing. are you feeling tropical storm-force wind or even greater? >> we are. not quite there yet, alex. but we are feeling gusts upwards of around 30 miles per hour. so we just had a pretty heavy rain band come through as well. and as i was trying to tell you before, it's the kind of rain that hurts as it's hitting you in the face and perhaps combined with all the salty air and the sand here. but certainly the rough seas are here. and they're here to stay for awhile. take a look at the atlantic
there. we're looking at wave heights anywhere from 4 to 6 feet. that old fishing pier still staying intact but we're keeping a careful eye on it. part of that did come apart during hurricane isabelle back in 2003. so one of the things we'll be watching just kind of gauge. this but the real window of deterioration here is going to be in the late night to overnight hours here along the eastern north carolina area. that's when we're going to see those tropical storm-force winds come into play. also coastal flooding, possibly some power outages as well. high tide, by the way, is around 6:30 tonight. as you can see the tide right now pretty far out to sea. but certainly those western edges of hurricane sandy are making themselves known here in north carolina. but we really haven't seen anything yet. keep in mind some perspective here, no matter how bad it gets here this is going to be a taste of what is to come perhaps in the northeast come monday or tuesday. so now is really the time to prepare. >> yes. well, that is very, very good advice.
because people have to worry about not only the rain and the flooding there but those terrible winds which can knock down trees and the rest of it. so anyway, do take good care. let's keep you out of the rains. we don't want that hitting your face. that's no fun at all. julie martin, thank you. >> thanks. let's go back to the race for the white house now. the latest nbc news poll shows increasingly tight race between mitt romney and president obama in the state of colorado. in the past month the president has lost his five point lead and tied with governor romney. colorado has become a key battle ground state with much of the focus on its growing hispanic population. joining me is chris hubbard editorial director for the denver post. chris thanks for being with us. >> thanks for having me. >> let's talk about your paper which has endorsed the president. first up why did you do that? >> we took a long look at all of the issues. obviously like many voters do, the economy is the number one issue for us in looking at what the federal government needs to do about balancing its budget and the federal debt, we felt like a plan that balances
spending cuts and revenue increases is the best way to go. and the obama plan that's on the record does a better job of that in the eyes of the editorial board. we also align more with the president's positions on things like energy and a balanced approach to energy that includes renewable and fossil fuels, that includes taking a more balanced approach on public lands especially and keeping environmental considerations in mind. and then on social issue, the editorial board is more aligned withed president as far as women's health issues and reproductive rights. >> okay. but what's happening in the minds of the colorado voters over the past month? as we mentioned there's about a 5-point lead that has dissipated to bring it pretty even neck and neck in that state. what's happened? >> yeah. you saw it happening right before the presidential debate at the university of denver was when mitt romney started to pick up steam. and his favorables have increased. voters have grown more comfortable with his message here. the polling we had five polls
released in colorado last week, including yours. and for the first time his favorables outweigh his unfavorables. and i think the more people hear his message, the more people are beginning to think that he is competent for the job. >> okay. let's look at who the likely voters are there. we're going to say 77% white break down, 33% hispanic, 3% african-americans. american mai females have the slight majority in colorado. how do these voters typically vote in your state? >> colorado is one of the states where the electorate is fairly evenly divided. republicans a third, democrats a third and unaffiliated a third. a slight edge to women. latinos typically break for the democratic candidates. that's one of the things the democrats count on here in state-wide races. typically in the neighborhood of 65 to 70% of the latino vote goes to democratic candidates. but the real battle ground in
colorado, it's been this way for the last several cycles, ises suburban vote outside of denver. especially the battle ground counties arapajo county and jefferson county. once again in a tight race where all the polls show the candidates are within the margin of error that's where we'll focus our attention on election night. suburban county and suburban women's vote. >> arapajo and jefferson counties, are they going to hold the rest of the nation hostage? are we going to be waiting for those guys to weigh in on election night and try to figure out where the nine electoral votes will go for your state? >> let's hope not. preparations are under way. we've had a lot of close elections here over the last few cycles. one of the good things is that more and more people in colorado are voting early or by mail ballot. expected that three out of four voters will vote before election day. we've already got about a third of the ballots cast through early voting. so hopefully that will offset some of the potential election
night snafus. >> i don't know. i think it will be a long night any way you look at it whether it's colorado's fault or not. okay, chris hubbard, thanks for joining me from denver. >> you're welcome. it is the state president obama has visited more than any other with two more trips planned. but will hurricane sandy force the president to change his whirlwind travel plans? begin.
get him to explain exactly what that is. the thin film transistor display... [ male announcer ] mmm, maybe not. just show it. customize the dash, give it park assist. the fuel efficiency flower thing. send future guy home, his work here is done. destroy time machine. win some awards, send in brady. that's how you do it. easy. welcome back to "weekends with alex witt." 32 past the hour. right now we have breaking news as millions on the east coast rush to prepare for hurricane sandy, the navy released some brand-new video that's showing sailors filling sandbags in the norfolk region today preparing for sort surge and possible hurricane conditions. the impending storm is impacting the presidential campaigns as well. both vice president joe biden and governor romney canceled events in virginia beach. nasa has released this unique look at the storm as seen from space. a satellite snapped that image overnight using the nearly full moon to illuminate the clouds. look how big that storm is.
and weather officials have deployed hurricane hunter aircraft into the center of the storm. they're going to release a brand-new advisory in less than 30 minutes. so we'll get that info to you when we get it. meantime our team coverage continues. weather channel stephanie abrams is in delaware. we begin with nbc meteorologist dylan dreyer. dylan, beat get this update at the top of the hour. what are you expecting to hear? >> i don't expect too much to change. there is good agreement in the models that this storm is going to take that northwest turn. it seems unrealistic but it's a sharp northwest turn towards the coastline. that's inevitable. so whether it lines up in new jersey or down in delaware or washington, d.c. or even maryland, it doesn't really make a difference at this point. we are going to see very rough surf. we're going to see a storm surge perhaps as high as 4 to 5 feet, that's more than isaac. we're going to see strong gusty winds on the order of about 80 miles per hour at the peak of the storm monday night. none of those factors are really changing because the storm is so huge. right now it is a category one
hurricane. it is most likely going to go back down to a tropical storm and then get reupgraded to a category one hurricane. eventually though taking on different characteristics. not so much hurricane characteristics as the form of something else. what is that something else? good question. this is an unusual storm. and we don't really have a name to call it. it's moving to the northwest. it's sharing energy with this cold front that's moving in from the west and it is going to develop into its own hybrid post-tropical cyclone that we will keep an eye on. right now moderate rain is falling down across the carolinas. gusts are up to around 30 to 35 miles per hour. there's no escaping that turn because of that high pressure to the north and east. this storm has nowhere to go but west. and where is it going to line up? somewhere between new jersey down through the delmarva peninsula. wherever it does line up we are going to see conditions of heavy rain, 10 to 12 inches of rain possible. so inland flooding is also an issue along with the coastal flooding because of the storm surge.
power outages is the big story. when you have gust that is high up to 80 miles per hour and a very soft ground and leaves on the trees, that's a combination for downed trees and power lines. that's why power outages could be an issue through the weekend and beyond, alex? >> those 10 inches of rain sounds like a lot of flooded basements and flooded roadways. everyone be careful and prepare. thank you so much, dylan dreyer. delaware is also within sandy's projected path including that area where we find weather channel meteorologist stephanie abrams from rohobeth beach. >> if this system comes in and we get that onshore flow and we get the surge, they do have a little protection but not a lot. as you can see they have the beach fence up. that obviously is going to be no match for the water. then they do have these dunes but they are small but there is vegetation to try to hold them in place. and then notice this hotel that is right on the beach. there's no boards up. so they are just going to get that wind right off of the water with that onshore flow if we get
that onshore flow. and remember, you're going to have the strongest winds right at the coast because there's no friction. so if we do get that onshore flow we could see a huge push of water. we could see big-time power outages. and if there are any sort of chairs or debris like that could easily be picked up by the wind. to be honest with you when we were driving in last night and even today we haven't seen a whole lot of people here in rohobeth beach doing any sort of preparations. it seems business as usual. but hopefully from the mid-atlantic all the way up into maine people are getting ready for this potentially monstrous and devastating storm. back to you. >> okay, stephanie abrams. many thanks for that. well, the storm has already thrown president obama's campaign plans for a loop. nbc's kristen welker is traveling with him in new hampshire today. with another hello to you, kristen. let's see. are we hearing james taylor? i was hoping because you said he was traveling. i was hoping we'd get to hear him.
>> reporter: that's right. the one and only james taylor just wrapping up one of his fan favorites, "mexico." he is getting the crowd energized here, alex. he's been playing for the past 20 minutes or so. the crowd cheering. they're excited. i'm told president obama just arrived on scene so we're expecting him to speak within the hour. so a lot of energy here in new hampshire. this is of course one of the those key battle ground states, alex. four electoral votes. doesn't sound like a lot but it is a lot in a race that is this close. every single electoral vote will of course matter and carry an immense amount of importance on election day. president obama carried this state back in 2008. this state hasn't been impacted as much by the economic downturn as other states. the unemployment rate is at 5.7%. that is far below the national average. however, mitt romney owns a home here. he was governor of neighboring massachusetts. so he certainly carries a lot of weight here in new hampshire. of course, this state is really
known for its independent streak. so both candidates really appealing to that group of voters as well as women and young voters. alex, on friday president obama spent the day at the white house but he was still campaigning. he did a series of interviews with tv and radio stations. and he spoke to mtv really making a strong appeal to young voters. here's what he had to say. take a listen. >> we now have to go directly to the source, the colleges and universities and say, you've got to work on cutting tuition. and we're going to reward those schools that do a good job providing good value for their students while keeping tuition low. >> and alex, the polls show that the race is basically deadlocked here in new hampshire with the president holding onto a very narrow lead. so this like the rest of the country is essentially all tied up. >> kristen welker, our pleasure as always to hear you. even more so amplified by the
dulcet tones of james taylor in the background. kristen, thank you so much. in the meantime, mitt romney is campaigning in florida today where he attended a rally in pensacola with senator marco rubio that just ended up. the campaign has had a tough week with controversial statements from mitt romney endorsed senate candidate richard murdoch as well as campaign cochair john sununu. joining me now is brett o'donald a debate coach for mitt romney as well as -- >> i want to take a his within you to mr. romney's campaign cochair john sununu in an interview on thursday. i'm sure you've heard it but let's play it for our viewer who may not have. >> when you take a look at colin powell you have to wonder if that's an endorsement based on issues or if he's got a slightly different reason for preferring president obama. >> what reason would that be? >> well, i think when you have somebody of your own race that you're proud of being president of the united states, i applaud
colin for standing with him. >> so brett, what was your reaction when you heard that? >> well, i mean, i think that's a little off message. and governor sununu has addressed that remark. i respect colin powell. the messenger that really needs to be paid attention to is governor romney. and paying attention to what he's actually saying. and i think the speech he delivered in iowa sort of laid out exactly what their message is going to be for the rest of the campaign. >> you know, there are cynics who would suggest, brett, that john sununu is saying what the campaign wants to say but cannot say. do you think he's planting any seeds and then they get to issue statement and act like it's just john being john and we'll just kind of put him out there. we're not going to take responsibility for what he necessarily says. >> you know, i'm not that cynical. i take it at face value at governor sununu clarified his remarks. and you know, i just leave it at that. i don't have any reason to
believe or any inside information that that's the strategy they're enacting. in fact, i think the message that they want ed to be pushing even on that particular day was the contrast between big ideas and what the president has done and what they built their campaign on. so i think that's the message they'd rather be on, to be honest with you. >> okay. let's take a listen to colonel lawrence wilkerson. he's the former chief of staff for colin powell as well as a republican from the interview he did with ed schultz on msnbc last night. >> let me just be candid. my party is full of racists. and the real reason a considerable portion of my party wants president obama out of the white house has nothing to do with the content of his character, nothing to do with his competence as commander in chief in president and everything to do with the color of his skin. that's despicable. >> how do you respond to that from a fellow member of your own party? >> well, i take issue with that. i mean, i think this election, and i think the reason governor
romney performed so well in the october 3rd debate. i think the reason there's been a shift in momentum has been because of the economy. and i think that the obama campaign would like to talk about race. they'd like to talk about women. they'd like to talk about a whole host of issues. but really when the governor focused on the economy, that's what caused the momentum shift. and i think that's what the election really is about to most americans. >> okay. brett, i know that you were the chief strategist for michele bachmann no stranger to controversial statements she has made. what would you say to mitt romney if you were running his campaign this week? >> i'd say stay on the message you're on right now. the message they laid out yesterday between the big ideas of their campaign on the economy and what the president has done in terms of his ideas for this campaign is a great contrast message. in fact, it really steals the president's message from four years ago which was that his campaign was supposed to be
about big ideas, big hope, big change. and i think governor romney has done a pretty effective job this week of seizing that language like he did in the debate where he seized the two paths language, seized the middle class language. i think as long as he stays on that message and all of their messengers stay on that message, that's a good message to get them across the finish line. >> brett, what if mitt romney does not win ohio? is it over? >> no. i mean, i'm not an electoral college genius but i do believe there's math to get them there if they don't win ohio. he's doing pretty well in colorado. he's doing well in iowa. so those are all states that are close. he's doing well in new hampshire. so i think he can have a path there without ohio. but certainly pushing in ohio is something they think is at the top of their priority list. >> okay, brett o'donnell, thanks for joining me. i appreciate it. >> good to be with you. coming up next we have the big three. the chances of a split decision on election day and what that
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time now for the big three in today's topics. let's bring in my top three panel. democrat strategy is and republican strategist and msnbc contributor. with a welcome to all of you, i want to let all of you know as susan was coming in and getting settled we got word that thanks to hurricane sandy mitt romney has canceled all of his events for virginia and refocused on ohio which makes sense tomorrow. susan to you i just thought from a practical perspective, what kind of havoc does that wreak in you want to get 2,000 people out to each campaign stop, have the pictures, have the momentum. but hey we're going to be there tomorrow. >> they've been in ohio so much that going to be an important state that they've been rallying their people over and over and
over again. it's not as if they said quick let's do something in arizona where frankly they haven't been that much. so it's difficult but it's not that difficult. because they have been rallying people. >> you got to wonder if they're disappointed because they're getting a slight edge in virginia right now and now they won't be there to help build on that momentum. so anyway let's get to the first question for the big three. the possibility of split election, where one candidate wins the popular vote. one wins the electoral college. sounds familiar. erin we look at your poll averages. what's the read as you survey the experts? >> that seems to be the likeliest scenario right now that mitt romney will win the popular vote but that president obama will win the electoral college. too early to say. polls are bouncing all around. and i would tell you that the obama campaign feels pretty confident that the state surveys in places like florida and colorado, even though they seem to show that president obama is trailing mitt romney in most cases, they do think that
they're not sampling spanish-speaking voters as well and that president obama may retain an edge in colorado. and may even be doing much better in florida than people realize. so there is some confidence that the obama campaign is well ahead in the electoral college. but i'd also point out that in the national polls we just saw gallup record a 7-point drop in the president's approval rating since wednesday, which is also pretty bad news for him. >> putting mitt romney up by about five points now in that poll. so in the gallup national poll. morris, if the president wins the electoral college but not the popular vote, how much of a mandate will he have going into his second term? >> well listen, i'm not worried about the polls. both of these candidates need to keep their head down and stay focused. it will be a challenge but we've been here before. al gore did the right thing when he lost when he won the popular vote and lost the electoral college. i suspect the republicans will do the same thing. but at this point, alex, really what people need to do is forget the polls, keep their head down and work as possible to sides.
may the best man win if we get to that situation, i think our country will prevail. i don't know how much of a mandate you'll have in that situation, but at least you'll have a governing majority. >> what about what if november 7th, if it is president-elect romney? >> if it's president-elect romney, we'll do the right thing and pass the torch. that's the great thing about our democracy. we always do the right thing. it's bigger be one individual. i'm not going to vision that nightmare scenario yet. i'm going to count on ohio bringing us over the finish line. >> i want to ask this of you. there seems to be general goodwill when america elected its first african-american president in 2008. even if you don't vote for him, you woke up and realized something good had been done. taking a moral high ground as a country. will that advance be turned back a little bit if president obama does not win re-election?
>> i don't think so. we live in a great country. we have a mormon and african-american winning. congressman sununu who has taken us back to division and racism, it doesn't work. we should be proud we have these two candidates. we will be happy or proud whoever is the president. i will be happy to salute whoever is our president going forward? >> susan? >> i'm in total agreement with morris on everything he just said. he's 100% right. we should be proud we have an african-american and mormon running, and either way will be the first time an african-american is re-elected or mormon is elected. that's great for the country. >> what would a loss mean for president obama's legacy? what would a win mean for mitt romney's political legacy? >> a loss for president obama would be problematic in that he could not turn the economy around fast enough. he will have a good item on his
legacy that he was able to kill osama bin laden, but a win for romney he made debates matter. that was a pretty important thing in this general election that mitt romney was steadily headed toward a loss then brought his candidacy back because he was a good debater, which shows in part his fitness for office. >> the big three reveals the best and worst. ♪ [ male announcer ] it's time for medicare open enrollment. are you ready? time to compare plans and see what's new. you don't have to make changes, but it's good to look. maybe you can find better coverage, save money, or both. and check out the preventive benefits you get after the health care law. ♪ medicare open enrollment. now's the time.
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we are going back to the big three for the best week/worst week. erin, who do you have as your pick for best and worst this week? >> the best is paul ryan. he took about 24, 36 hours for a southern campaign swing and what he did was raise about $5 million for the romney campaign, which is helping the campaign expand the playing field in some of these electoral college. the worst is richard mourdock.
republicans are grumbling at a comment he made in the debate. he threw back their senate race. >> my winner are womener voters. as you can tell by the women on the panel i enjoy having smart women around me. i would caution to remember what these guys are telling you. make sure they deliver. my loser of the week is the surrogates gone wild on mitt romney's side from crazy donald trump to tag decided he wants to punch the president which i think is a federal offense to john sununu wanting to take us back to the 1950s. no one on the republican side complained when colin powell stayed with the republicans. it's a shame he is trying to divide us at this point in history. >> susan, best and worst? >> best week for early voters. they established themselves now as a group that people will target and go after even more so in 2016. they may be become the new type of independents.
worst week is get out the vote campaign people. they are going to be in a lot of trouble trying to reorganize after the storm on the east coast. >> very good points. thank you, all. good to see you. we'll see you soon, no doubt. that is a wrap of "weekends with alex witt." i'll see you back here tomorrow at noon eastern. seth carney works renaissance fairs, haunted houses and night clubs. he hawks selling bones, skulls and other macabre items. ♪